29 April 2011


from a story in People, Victoria's Secret model, Miranda Kerr, nursing her son Flynn (actor Orlando Bloom is the dad) while on a work break...I appreciate her putting this out there...

28 April 2011

Welcom Vivian Claire

What an honor to share my birthday with such a beauty! Vivian Claire swam into this side of the world today at 1:35pm weighing 8lb, with perfect eyebrows and the ability to make labor monitors stop working, just like her big sister!

Vivian, after a slow but consistent start to labor through the night, your momma was a rockstar! ...a fun, leisurely morning at home with a pre-storm breeze blowing through the open windows and lovely music playing, old-school, on the turntable. Then a drive through a crazy storm - your momma said she was born during a huge storm as well. She was almost ready to push by the time we got to the hospital, leaving just enough time for the tub to fill. Three pushes and you were out, winking at us. Your daddy cut the cord and never left your momma's side. I think you will always be the youngest in your family, but I wouldn't mind if your folks had about 10 more babies because they are so wonderful!

Best birthday ever! ...happy birth day to you! xoxo

27 April 2011

welcome Joyce Elizabeth

belated once again! Born Saturday, 4/23/11 at 6:03pm, weighing 7lb 13oz at 20 3/4" long with LOTS of lovely hair.

"Saturday's child must work hard for a living" and so must her momma work for that child's birth, apparently...

Joyce, your mom worked so very hard, manifesting patience like almost none I've seen. Contractions that wouldn't quite "catch" to become labor started late Sunday night the weekend before you were born and continued almost constantly every day and night, with only a few naps along the way. We walked and lunged, did stairs two at a time, downward dogged, child's posed, soaked, showered, massaged, prayed and all sorts of other things. We even played some card games (I believe your mom won - I know I sure didn't). All the while, your momma cheered on every other baby being born while she was waiting for you to arrive, never losing her good cheer or kindness.

If their dedication to laboring is any indication of how they will be as parents, you hit the parent jackpot! And as an added bonus, they will be able to help you with your math homework (maybe they will help my kids too?? ;-)

Welcome, baby Joyce!

23 April 2011

Welcome Townes Danger

That's right, just like his professional dare devil daddy (figuratively), Danger is his middle name (literally)! Love it!

I'm a bit belated because of other laboring mommas, but Townes joined us earth-side on Wednesday, April 20 at 10:36pm and weighed 9pm 14oz, 22" long with some serious hands on him...in short, he's perfect!

Townes, what a rockin birth you had! Family galore from far and wide and jokes and stories that even the doctor took part in. Let's just say it's good that you weren't a girl named Mary Jane! Your momma was so strong and determined and your daddy was right there every step of the way doing just what was needed. The "Push Power Mix" didn't hurt either..."Eye Of The Tiger" to inspire and "Home" with your youngest auntie singing along to call you here. Your parents were such a pleasure that nurses and residents and medical students all wanted to help you get here. Because of your birth, there is one young doctor who may be changing his specialty to obstetrics...I saw him on his way out that night and he was walking on clouds...you helped do that - your birth may make it better for countless babies and mommas in the future.

I can only imagine how fun life is going to be for you because your parents are filled with joy and you have an abundance of aunts, family and friends who are going to surround you with even more love...and really, really good pizza.

Welcome, big boy. I don't know if the world is ready for you but I know you are ready for it. Big hugs to all. XO

But April Fools is over!

I can't imagine the time difference is that great between here and Europe, so I don't think this is a joke...the EU has ruled that formula makers can claim that their artificial milk is just a healthy as breast milk. Enough with the dark ages...I'm ready for a renaissance already. Read all it about it here.

18 April 2011

the power of motherhood

feast your eyes on the lovely Ruah Bhay and her handsome boy...love it! If you are in NYC, check her out her amazing yoga classes.

16 April 2011

perspective, baby, perspective

I have a good friend with several kids, all born by cesarean. She told me many years ago to remember that not every woman is troubled by not having given birth vaginally. She is one of them - totally pleased with the birth stories of her beautiful children. It seems obvious on it's face, but I was happy for the reminder and recall it frequently...we just can't assume or put people in boxes.

Recently she introduced me to a child as someone who, "helps take babies out of mommies tummies". I didn't correct her, for that is her truth.

*the above image, entitled "First Kiss", is by artist, doula & mother, Amy Swagman. It, and other art, can be purchased in support of ICAN this month for Cesarean Awareness Month

14 April 2011

A Mother's Prayer...from Tina Fey's book

ok - I'm re-posting this...I don't have daughters but I love this and now want to read the book, Bossypants.

The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered,
May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half
And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her
When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the nearby subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock N’ Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance.

Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes. And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.
Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long,
For Childhood is short- a Tiger Flower blooming magenta for one day-
And Adulthood is long and Dry-Humping in Cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever,
That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers
And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister,
Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends,
For I will not have that ****. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord,
That I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 a.m., all-at-once exhausted,
bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.
“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck.
“My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental note to call me. And she will forget.
But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.


13 April 2011

close to home: potentially fatal placental abnormality due in large part to previous cesareans

A still-rare (3/1000 births) but once incredibly rare (0.8/1000 before the rise in cesareans) and very serious placental complication, placenta accreta, is linked to having had previous cesarean(s). Because NJ, my home state, has the highest cesarean rate in the nation (for the 13th year in a row), one can extrapolate that we likely have the highest accreta rate as well. Here's a sobering story about a family in my town...

"We were making preparations for death," DeLeon-George, of South Orange, says now. "We grappled with a lot. There were a lot of what-ifs."

DeLeon-George had a rare condition. The placenta growing inside her was attached to scar tissue on the wall of her uterus from four previous Caesarean sections, forming its own extensive network of blood vessels, likely leading to massive bleeding — two units per minute — just as her youngest daughter Hannah was coming into the world. Essentially, the placenta, a life-giving organ for the unborn child, had become like a dangerous growth and had to be carefully extracted.

DeLeon-George’s problem is still a rare one for mothers-to-be, but doctors say as the rate of C-sections continues to increase, it’s apt to become more common. Called placenta accreta, it’s a disorder by which a placenta attaches to a previous C-section scar, and grows at an uncontrolled rate into vital organs such as the bladder, endangering the life of the mother.

07 April 2011

Golden Birthday

So my baby boy is 7 on the 7th today...his lucky year. And seven is such a watershed year anyway...it is said by some that every seven years our cells complete a cycle of change and we transform a bit...

He's not someone who has self esteem issues so far! At this moment, he's in the other room making himself a crown to wear. When he told me that the entire cafeteria sang to him at lunch, I asked if it was cool or embarrassing, he said it was awesome! He's very specific about what he wants...for instance, he asked for Chinese food for breakfast (so we ordered it last night), a cake that is not chocolate or ice cream, to eat at "the place where they cook in front of you" (Japanese hibache), the game "Jenga" are what we have heard so far, though his ideas keep coming.

I do love him so...

06 April 2011

seven years ago tonight

I was in labor for the last time...by baby turns 7 tomorrow! Six sounded so much older than five and seven sounds practically ancient.
Tonight I will tell him his homebirth story and put my boy to bed for his last sleep as a six year old!

05 April 2011

snippet of motherhood: not my mother's dinnertime

When I was growing up, my mom always said she would never make more than one thing for dinner like (fill in the blank of whomever was the object of ridicule on this topic)...

Well ya know what? I was an only child. In my house, it's pretty much a guarantee that at least one person in my family won't like what's for dinner. I don't necessarily make them something else, but I rarely make them eat something they really don't like (save for something green). I encourage "no thank you" bites if it's something new they are reticent to try. I certainly don't make them sit at the table long after dinner is over in order to choke down some canned beets or overcooked frozen veggies with now-warm milk. (But I'm not bitter...)

Tonight's affront:
salmon, steamed artichokes with butter and lemon, baked sweet potatoes and spinach salad for dinner (and, as luck would have it, an alternate offer of pasta primavera with chicken)...middle son said he would like a pizza bagel (& an artichoke).
There's always one. sigh.

It's no wonder some people feed their dogs from the table...they are grateful for anything you give them!

04 April 2011

April is Cesarean Awareness Month

Sadly, "32.9% of Births Resulting In Major Abdominal Surgery; 13th Consecutive Year to Show Increase"...read about it on the ICAN site

Hopefully ACOG's reversal of their prior position against VBAC will stem the tide. But we must prevent unnecessary primary cesareans whenever possible.

If you are pregnant, considering getting pregnant or know someone who is, consider downloading "What Every Pregnant Woman Needs To Know About Cesarean Section" (2006, revised) The numbers are worse now, but still good information.

01 April 2011


Anniversary to the mister...16 April Fools days ago we were wed!